Spotlight Date: 
February, 2000

Executive Director’s Memo
February 8, 2000


FISCAL YEAR 2000-2001

County Officials. The Tennessee General Assembly, in its 1996 legislative session, established a new method for determining compensation increases for county officials (T.C.A. § 8-24-102). The law contains a provision for an automatic increase in salary based on the percentage increase given to state employees for the previous fiscal year. It requires the Commissioner of Finance and Administration to certify to the Comptroller of the Treasury the average annualized increase in state employees’ compensation on or before May 1 of each year. The Commissioner certified on February 3, 2000, that state employee’s compensation was zero percentage in the fiscal year 1999-2000. (See attached certification.) Based on that certification, county officials WILL NOT receive a compensation increase in FY 2000-2001. The salary for all county officials will remain at the current FY 1999-2000 level. (See CTAS publication County Official’s Salaries for FY 99-00 dated May 1999.)

The Governor’s budget for FY 2000-2001 presented to the Tennessee General Assembly on January 31, 2000, contained a recommendation that state employees receive a 3% increase in the coming fiscal year. If that recommendation is approved by the General Assembly then county officials would receive a similar increase in FY 2001-2002. Since the Governor’s budget is based on the restructure of the state tax system, the passage of this budget as presented is uncertain. Should no increase for state employees be approved, county officials would fail to receive a compensation increase for a second year.

Special Provisions for General Sessions Judges. Increases for general sessions judges are determined differently. Effective July 1, 1999, salaries of general sessions judges are to be adjusted annually in the same amount received by state court judges. This amount is determined by the percentage of change in the average consumer price index between the previous two calendar years (T.C.A. §§ 16-15-5003; 8-23-103). As yet that figure has not been certified; however, as soon as we have that information from the Comptroller’s Office, we will let you know. PLEASE NOTE: The increase applies to the base salary plus annual supplements plus adjustments — the total salary (see T.C.A. § 16-15-5003(i)(3)). Check with your judges, because in some counties private acts or other provisions of general law may apply.

CTAS cannot prepare salary schedules for general sessions court judges because the salaries in each county must be calculated separately after a thorough examination of the private acts and general laws that apply in that particular county.